In his 16th season with the Vikings, Steve LaCroix serves as the team’s Executive Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer, a role in which he oversees all aspects of Vikings-generated revenues and marketing initiatives. He leads the team’s Corporate & Technology Partnerships, Ticket Sales & Operations, Partnerships Activation & Special Projects, Corporate Development & Guest Relations, Content & Production and Marketing & Fan Development departments. LaCroix’s sales and marketing team was responsible for the transition of fans, corporate partners and the Vikings game-day experience to TCF Bank Stadium located on the University of Minnesota campus over the two years prior to the new stadium’s opening.
Following the passage of stadium legislation in 2012, LaCroix immediately began a significant role on the Vikings stadium team, assisting with the design and construction process. He is also directing all sales, marketing and revenue-generating initiatives for the new facility set to open in 2016, including Naming Rights, Founding Partnerships, technology solutions and brand integration opportunities as well as overseeing multiple new offerings related to season tickets, premium seating, club seats and suites located in the stadium.
As the lead negotiator for Naming Rights, LaCroix and the Vikings joined U.S. Bank to announce a 20-year partnership and introduce “U.S. Bank Stadium” on June 15, 2015. The announcement highlighted a natural partnership between two prominent and storied Minnesota institutions that have extensive histories within the state and long traditions of being significant community advocates for Minnesota. With the goal of securing a prominent, first-class Minnesota-based company, the Vikings targeted and ultimately only engaged with U.S. Bank in this endeavor. The partnership also includes a $1,000,000 “Places to Play” program, a statewide, grant-making initiative focused on investments in the community facilities that contribute to the quality of life, including parks, playgrounds, trails and athletic facilities.
In 2014, together with Van Wagner Sports & Entertainment, the third party assisting the Vikings in the sales process, LaCroix developed and managed the opening of the New Stadium Preview Center and its adjacent downtown offices. The Preview Center, a 7,500 square-foot interactive space designed to give Vikings fans their first detailed look at the new stadium and the future game experience, is the largest ever built by an NFL team. Overlooking the stadium site, the Preview Center has hosted over 10,000 visits since its opening. LaCroix and the Vikings continue to explore all avenues to ensure the new stadium provides the premier fan experience for Vikings fans.
In his Minnesota tenure, LaCroix has led a variety of additional new initiatives, including the team’s introduction of an enhanced Norseman logo and new uniforms in 2013, the second uniform change under LaCroix’s leadership. The club has also brought radio and television broadcast rights in-house and started year-round weekly television and radio programming. The Vikings have had multiple full re-designs of vikings.com and opened Vikings Locker Room official retail stores across the Twin Cities. Fans have been treated to the introduction of Viktor the Viking, the official team mascot, and the Skol Line drum line. Under LaCroix, he Vikings sellout streak reached 144 games at Mall of America Field.
Also included in LaCroix’s accomplishments is the launch of the Vikings Entertainment Network (VEN) in 2009. LaCroix helped take VEN to the next level with a first-class production studio at Winter Park, which was unveiled during the 2010 season and plays host to weekly TV and radio shows throughout the year. The studio is the home for Vikings-exclusive content creation for vikings.com.
LaCroix has served on the NFL Club Business Working Group comprised of eight club executives to help shape strategies for implementing league and club initiatives. LaCroix has also served for several years on the Steering Committee of the National Sports Forum, the industry’s leading annual conference.
LaCroix’s charitable involvement includes serving as Treasurer of the Vikings Children’s Fund, which has raised and distributed over $10 million since 1978. LaCroix also serves on the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee Advisory Board, the University of Iowa Marketing Institute Board, the Minneapolis Downtown Council Board of Directors, the Board of Directors of Hunger Related Events/Taste of the NFL, a national hunger relief organization and the Minnesota chapter of Positive Coaching Alliance, a national non-profit working to transform the culture of youth sports with a mission to develop “Better Athletes, Better People.”
Prior to joining the Vikings, LaCroix worked as the Director of Sponsorship Sales for Pacers Sports and Entertainment in Indianapolis, IN, from 1999-00. His main responsibilities included overseeing the corporate sales efforts for the National Basketball Association’s Indiana Pacers, the WNBA’s Indiana Fever and other sports and entertainment events held at Conseco Fieldhouse, for which he negotiated the naming rights deal. Conseco Fieldhouse (now renamed Bankers Life Fieldhouse) is widely considered one of the premier venues in the NBA and elevated the Pacers into the top third of the league in local revenue, despite being the NBA’s fifth-smallest market. LaCroix’s tenure with Pacers Sports & Entertainment began in 1991 as an intern in ticket sales.
LaCroix earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of Iowa and his master’s at Western Illinois University. Steve and his wife, Sue, who holds her bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Iowa, have two children – Katie and Alex. The LaCroix family resides in Orono.